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Bride and Groom Kodava Attire

The Kodava couple in their traditional attire makes a beautiful picture, and their clothes are as impressive as the land to which they belong. The Mangalakara and Mangalakarthi are dressed in their finest attire and decked with traditional gold Jewellery.

Wedding attire


The groom wears a white Kupya for the wedding. It is made of cotton and has long sleeves, and is held together by the red and gold silk chele, which has gold tassels at either end. In the past, the white Kupya was worn by the bridegroom, and when a man died. Kupyas have no zip, buttons, or velcro fastenings. Talking of wedding rituals, first, there is the ritual bath given to the groom by three married women, and then the groom is dressed in ritual robes and ornaments by his best man or bojakara. First, the groom wears a ‘white cotton 92 gown’. A red, silk sash (chele) secures the gown at the waist. The ornamental Coorg knife called the peechekathi is tucked into the sash (chele) in front. The broad Coorg sword, the odi kathi, hangs from its clasp (thodang) at the groom’s back, with a chain (chengolae) tied to the groom’s waist. The groom wears the Coorg turban (the paani mande tuni), which is flat on top and covers the back of the head. He is bare foot and he carries a staff with small bells (the gejjae thand).

The Kodava groom’s traditional jewellery includes paluva male (male means chain and refers here to a double coral and gold bead chain), kokkethathi (a chain of square, gold beads, with a pendant like a quarter moon), katti ballae (ballae means bangle), a ring, a red kerchief near the peeche kathi in the chele, , a red musque (a Kodava veil that covers the head), a Coorg sword – the odi kathi – which is fitted into a silver, chained clasp(Thodung ) at the back and a gejjae thand – a long wooden staff with silver bells at the end.


Kodava women are not less striking than that of the men. The bride wears a uniform of red silk: a red silk sari, a red silk full-sleeved Coorg blouse (kala kupya), and a red silk scarf which is tied round her head (vastra). She wears bangles, necklaces, ear-rings, and also ornaments on her ankles, feet, and toes.

She is dressed by the bojakarti (matron of honor). Her finery includes the kadaga (bracelet), sarpani (chain), karimani (black bead necklace), vale (ear rings), maale, jomalè, Kokkethathi, kaisara, kaal pilli, silver ring on second toe, Bottu podiya (silk Coorg style saree), a long sleeved red blouse (kala kupya), and a red silk musque.